GFM Network News


Faked fuzz facts on fusarium

The real story of Alberta’s fusarium head blight control program

Fusarium head blight (FHB) of wheat, barley, oat, rye and triticale caused by Fusarium graminearum is the most destructive disease of cereals in Western Canada right now. This fungus is also a destructive disease on corn, particularly in Ontario and the United States, where it is the exact same disease that we have on small […] Read more

The Prairies produce approximately 85 to 90 per cent of Canada’s honey with a major reliance on canola flowering.

Why do we let the tail wag the dog?

Is this a foretaste of livestock and grain farmer harassment in the near future?

All kinds of minor groups rail against the vast majority of ordinary citizens; for example, the animal rights group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) or the anti-herbicide or pesticide groups in our cities. Take Edmonton, for example. In the city zoo, they have a long-term elephant called Lucy. The elephant is now […] Read more


Foo-foo farming and fabricated information

Watch out for vendors who sell fake or grossly overpriced products

When you answer the telephone these days, many of the messages are nothing but fake claims. You are told that you owe Revenue Canada money, or that your credit or debit cards have been compromised. All of these things have happened to me in the last few years. I have also received police notices in […] Read more

Fowl play in the free-range poultry industry

The dire perils of free-range environments, chickens may be happier indoors, warm and among friends

It seems that the general public has a very distorted view of farming practices, which is helped by the inability or reluctance of the North American farming community to deliver the real facts. Many in the urban general public seem to have fond visions of laying hens or broiler chickens tiptoeing through the green, grassy […] Read more


Monarch butterflies hibernating in Mexico on fir trees.

Glyphosate gets off the butterfly hook

An example of a blatant effort to find a pesticide scapegoat

When I lived in Ontario in the early seventies, monarch butterflies were a common sight in the Guelph area, especially in late September. I would be coaching rugby on the University of Guelph rugby field late in the day and I would see hundreds of monarch butterflies heading south over the playing field at a […] Read more

Some flooded out farmers on the Prairies could help themselves by seeding a cereal crop this month.

Seed cereal crops in August in waterlogged regions of Alberta this year

Crops could remove up to 10 inches of moisture from flooded croplands

This year in the northern and north-central areas of Alberta, particularly in the Edmonton region, we have had an unusually wet spring and summer, following a wet fall and lots of winter snow. It has been estimated this spring and summer that the Edmonton area has had up to 20 inches of rain. As a […] Read more


Every nutrient, whether macro or micro, is essential to attain a yield goal of any crop, and soil testing gives you an accurate answer to reach this objective.

No such thing as a free lunch when it comes to crop nutrition

Yields can suffer if soils are deficient in any crop nutrient

When I worked as a plant pathologist for Alberta Agriculture in the 1970s, I was surprised to find only 10 per cent of Prairie farmers have ever had their soil tested for crop nutrients. How could they grow a cereal or canola crop without knowing what plant nutrients — nitrogen (N), phosphate (P), potassium (K) […] Read more

Are you losing money when selling bales? Consider the alternatives.

Sixteen reasons why grain growers should never sell crop residues

Read this article and you’ll never sell baled straw again

Could it be the last straw or the straw that broke the camel’s back? If you grow lentils, peas, canola, dry beans, fava beans, soybeans or grain corn, it’s normal practice to harvest the grain and leave the combined residue on the cropland. There are exceptions when some of the aforementioned crops may be baled. […] Read more


The facts and fallacies of foliar feeding and other mistaken beliefs

Environmental conditions can dramatically affect the uptake of foliar-applied nutrients

Foliar feeding has been frequently advocated in recent years as a way to boost crop yields, or in the case of nitrogen (N) as a boost for grain protein in wheat. In reality, plants take in very little fertilizer directly through their leaves or stems. In a way, it is a process that does not […] Read more

Mycorrhizal linkage to crop plants in normal soils have been shown to supply phosphate, copper and zinc to growing crops.

Facts about phosphorus you should know

Highly-manured soils, wet growing conditions and lodging in cereal crops

Phosphorus or phosphate (P) is the most complex of the big four macronutrients in crop production. When you buy phosphate fertilizer, you are actually buying P2O5 the oxidized version, which is 62 parts actual P and 80 parts oxygen. Your actual P is only 43 per cent by weight. The phosphate in all soils is […] Read more